November 29 – December 20
How Good Does It Get? leads us into the question “Does it get any better?” The challenge for any artist is what to do next. Can an artist continue to evolve and develop while remaining true to core sensibilities? How does an artist respond to the plethora of constantly changing technologies and materials available? The fifth annual Legacies exhibit opening November 29 at the Alva Gallery presents the most recent work of four artists who have, each in their own way, changed, while not changing.
Peter Good is drawn to the tactile properties of paper, cloth and thread. Since his introduction to an Elna sewing machine in the mid-sixties, he has utilized the machine’s ability to free-up the control he could so easily exercise with the hand-drawn line. Peter’s joyful, intricately sewn illustrative appliques, familiar to so many, have lately transformed into more free-form fabric and paper collages. Computer scans and prints of watercolor washes, old stamps, fabrics and clothing labels expand the possibilities.
Jan Cummings Good has for decades drawn and painted “life-sized” and “realistic” portraits of people and other living things. In the 80’s, she discovered that imprints of her body on paper could result in unreal, otherworldly impressions. And in the 90’s, these “bodyprints” became part of constructed and painted geometry. Currently Jan is exploring the possibilities inherent in electronic layering of perfect circles and pixel-wide lines with flora, fauna and body imagery.
Justin Good has since childhood been facile with the drawn line. However, this inborn skill is belied in his decade-long series of enigmatic charcoal musings. Most recently, having utilized a digital camera to create images illustrating his philosophic lectures at Emerson, Professor Good is utilizing the technology to express the strange and unfamiliar in the ordinary and the mundane. Street stains, sidewalk shadows, hood ornaments and electric wires confuse, confound, perplex and amuse the viewer.
Jesse Good, the youngest Good, is the least interested in utilizing the newest technology. His beloved and earthbound cement pillows, the result of his familiarity with the tools and materials of carpentry, have recently become airborne. Machine-sewn and constructed of nylon and thread, Jesse’s inflatables inhale and exhale at regular intervals. While their seductive “breathing” depends on mechanical fans, the timing of expansions and contractions depends on his intuitive manipulation of electronic timers.
Peter Good and Jan Cummings Good are partners in the internationally known graphic design studio Cummings & Good, based in Chester, Connecticut. Justin Good, Ph.D, is a professor of philosophy at Emerson College in Boston. He lives with his wife Morgana Travicelli in Charleston, Massachusetts. Jesse Good is a sculptor and craftsman who has just completed, with his wife, Mirna Martinez, a yearlong restoration of their Federal house in New London, Connecticut. Jan and Jesse exhibited their work in the first Alva Legacies while Peter and Justin were featured in the second Legacies exhibition.